7 Tips for Adding Avocado to Soap + Avocado Soap Recipe
Avocado is a wonderful addition to cold process soap, featuring:
- skin-loving nutrients,
- essential fatty acids,
- and lots of label appeal.
Here’s how to add avocado to your soap recipes!
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7 quick tips when making avocado soap:
- Try replacing up to 1/3 of the water amount in your recipe with mashed avocado. If your recipe calls for 9 ounces of water, try 6 ounces of water plus 3 ounces of mashed avocado.
- Blend the avocado into the warmed oils, before adding the lye solution.
- Thoroughly blend the avocado with an immersion blender, since large chunks can spoil in soap.
- Avocado will not stay green in soap, so try adding 1 to 2 tsp PPO* French green clay or chlorella powder for a natural green color. (PPO = per pound of oil in the recipe. 1 pound = 16 ounces = 454 grams.)
- It’s often best to avoid gel phase, since avocado tends to darken and brown when it gets heated up.
- Pour soap batter into individual molds and place them in the fridge for about 24 hours before returning to room temperature.
- Soaps made with avocado have a similar shelf life as regular soap; the high pH of soap is protective against it spoiling.
Here’s a bonus tip and helpful idea kindly shared by reader & soapmaker Penny:
“I mash an avocado with a bit of oil and grapefruit seed extract and freeze it. I make a hot process batch all the way thru the cook, stir in the avocado into half the soap and make a swirled batch.”
Below is a recipe from my Simple & Natural Soapmaking print book, but feel free to use the tips above to add avocado to your own favorite soap recipes.
Avocado Soap Recipe
Loaded with essential fatty acids that are great for your skin, fresh avocado puree partners up with the mild cleansing power of French green clay in this nourishing soap that your skin will absolutely love!
Yield: 7 to 8 bars of soap (2.5 lbs/1.13 kg)
- 5.75 oz (163 g) distilled water
- 3.9 oz (111 g) sodium hydroxide (lye)
- 2 tsp French green clay
Oils & Avocado
- 11.5 oz (326 g) olive oil (41%)
- 7.5 oz (213 g) coconut oil (26.8%)
- 4 oz (113 g) avocado oil (14.3%)
- 3.5 oz (99 g) shea, mango, or cocoa butter (or lard/tallow) (12.5%)
- 1.5 oz (43 g) castor oil (5.4%)
- 3 oz (85 g) fresh avocado, mashed
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Directions to Make
If you’ve never made soap before, stop and research the process before proceeding.
A good place to start is my article, Soap Making 101, or my Natural Soapmaking Ebook collection.
Wearing protective gloves and eyewear, carefully stir the lye into the distilled water. Stir in the French green clay and set aside to cool for about 30 to 40 minutes, or until it’s around 100 to 110 degrees F (38 to 43 C).
Melt the solid fats (butter and coconut oil) and mix with the other oils. Check the temperature and cool or warm as needed, so that the oils are around 100 to 110 degrees F. (Lye solution and oils do not have to be the same temperature, ball park temperatures are fine.)
Blend the avocado into the oils with an immersion blender until there are no large pieces of avocado visible, since they can spoil in the soap.
Pour the lye solution into the oils. Using a combination of hand stirring and stick blending, mix until the soap reaches light trace.
To preserve the color of the soap, put the filled molds in the refrigerator for about 24 hours. Individual molds work best to prevent partial gel.
After removing from the fridge, let the mold sit an additional day or two before removing the soaps.
Cure in the open air for at least 4 to 6 weeks before using.
What other oil could be used instead of castor oil?
Hi Paula! Castor oil has a unique composition compared to other oils and it’s added to help support better lather, making it’s hard to replace exactly, but you could definitely use another oil instead. The soap won’t have quite the same lather without castor oil, but it should still turn out great. Castor isn’t a requirement. You could use more olive oil, sunflower oil, rice bran, sweet almond, avocado, or hemp… Pretty much anything could go in this spot, since it’s just 5% of the recipe. 😊
Hi Jan. How do I work out the percentage of ingredients for soap?
Hi Paula! The amount of oils in a recipe can be broken down into percentages.
So if you have a recipe with 5 ounces of olive oil and 5 ounces of coconut oil, it would be:
50% olive oil
50% coconut oil
To figure out the percentages for a recipe that doesn’t already have them listed, then you’d just take the amount of one oil and divide it by the total amount of oils in the recipe.
For an example for that, let’s say you have this recipe and want to know the percentages:
12 ounces olive oil
8 ounces coconut oil
There’s a total of 20 ounces of oil in the recipe.
So to figure the percentage of olive oil, take:
12 divided by 20 and get 0.60, which is the same as 60%.
To figure the coconut oil:
8 divided by 20 = 0.40, which is the same as 40%.
I hope that helps answer your question, but if I didn’t understand it correctly, just let me know! 😊
Thanks Jan it really helps alot!
If I were to try this recipe at home, but convert it to hot process (via the directions on your book), would I up the amount of distilled water to 10 ounces to keep it from drying out in the crock pot? Or would I go lower? Also, what adjustment would need to be made for the lye, if any?
Hi Hannah! As is, it has 8.75 ounces of liquid allowance (5.75 ounces of water + 3 ounces fresh avocado), so you could increase that total to 9.5 ounces, or perhaps 10 ounces, but make sure you count in the avocado as part of that liquid weight.
So you could use:
9.5 ounces liquid total (6.5 ounces water + 3 ounces avocado)
10 ounces total liquid (7 ounces water + 3 ounces avocado)
Changing the water amount doesn’t change the lye.
The lye is calculated for the exact amount of oils, so only changes if you changed the oil amounts.
Water amount is super adjustable and you can safely play with amounts of water.
I haven’t tried this recipe hot process and not sure how well it would do. I have made avocado soap and let it go through gel phase and it turns a kind of dark brownish green that I didn’t care for, so avocado is one of the rare soaps I don’t want to gel or overheat. I suspect that hot process will make it darken in a similar way, so be aware that the color will likely turn out much differently if you hot process the recipe.
If you do give it a try, I’d love to hear how it goes! 😊
I have freeze dried avocado that I would like to incorporate into soap. How should I add it in? My other question would be how much of the powder to add? Since there is no water in the avocado I was not sure how to adjust the recipe. Is there a general rule of thumb for adding non-colorant powder additives. I wanted to try and incorporate a lot more veggies (tomato, pumpkin, beets, carrots, herbs) and flowers from my garden. We have a freeze dryer and I I would like to be able to add freeze dried items instead of liquid during the winter time when my garden is not producing.
By the way I have tried several other books and recipes from other people but your soaps are the best!
Hi Elizabeth! Thanks for the kind words about the books and recipes! ❤
I’ve received several questions about using various freeze dried veggies and fruits in soap, but I haven’t had the chance to experiment with them yet, so I’m just not sure.
However, what I would do in your case is make a little test batch of soap and perhaps start with 1 teaspoon freeze dried powder per pound of oil in the recipe.
Some powders do better added in oil, while others do better added to the lye solution, so actually it would be good to make two test batches so you can test both ways.
That should give you a good idea of how it will work in a full sized batch of soap! :)
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